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Time Warner again ordered to carry sports network

Posted June 9, 2008

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— For the second time in six months, an arbitrator has ordered Time Warner Cable to carry a regional sports network that carries Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals baseball games.

Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has waged a high-profile battle with Time Warner for months to get the network onto the cable system's basic tier of service so the programming could be seen by more people.

In addition to Orioles and Nationals games, the network carries more than 200 football, basketball and lacrosse games involving North Carolina universities, officials have said.

Time Warner has maintained that it would be unfair to impose the cost of acquiring MASN programming on all customers because interest in the games is low. Instead, the company offered to carry MASN on a digital channel.

An arbitrator appointed by the Federal Communications Commission ruled in January that Time Warner was discriminating against  MASN in favor of its own sports networks.

The American Arbitration Association later removed the arbitrator from the case under a rule that arbitrators remain impartial and independent.

A second FCC-appointed arbitrator recently expanded on the discrimination findings and ordered the cable company to offer MASN to its subscribers.

“We’re appealing to the FCC,” Time Warner spokeswoman Melissa Buscher said. “Our position is we don’t have to carry their programming, pending review before the FCC.”

46 Comments

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  • Wags Jun 10, 2008

    I don't live in Baltimore and don't live in Washington. Why do I have to pay for this? Just like the NFL Network. I used to get games for free on network stations. Now the NFL wants me to pay for it. Put it on a sports package and let those who want it pay for it.

  • just my2cents Jun 10, 2008

    i too miss the Braves, i don't care about these teams! TBS, bring back my Braves.

  • TheWB Jun 10, 2008

    Nats? Orioles? Who cares, I miss my Braves on TBS. They are blacked out in my area when they are on FSS and now TBS dropped them, after all of these years. Waaaa Waaaaa !!!!

  • foetine Jun 10, 2008

    MASN doesn't have the Charlotte Bobcats games. Who is spreading that lie? The games are going to be on Fox Sports South and Sports South. Not MASN. Great to see the MASN Stooges are spreading lies in order to get people to think their crummy network is worth the hassle of taking over 2 cable channels. The Orioles died when Cal Ripken Jr. retire. nobody cares about them except their mothers.

  • scientistjo Jun 10, 2008

    I recently switched from Time Warner internet to Clearwire. It's cheaper, more reliable, and I'm not sending Time Warner $45/mo for internet that had "outages" once a week.

  • PACKFAN08 Jun 10, 2008

    I'm still waiting for my check from Time Warner, for all the games I miss on my Extra Innnings Package. I better not hold my breath. So I am paying for games that are supposed to be in the package, but Time Warner blacks them out? I would call that a breach of contract.

  • build540.com Jun 9, 2008

    The MASN issue also affects MLBtv. If you subscribe to the service you cannot watch the games from your market online. Because of the silliness of Raleigh/Durham being considered part of the Washington/Baltimore market I cannot watch those games (well when the teams I like are playing them!). MLB and the NFL need to stop the arcane blackout rules and offer all games in all markets on demand. Make money from the commercials, and have some ad revenue sharing for the lesser teams. People don't live in their home towns anymore.

  • cm64 Jun 9, 2008

    I’m not enamored with TWC but I don’t care the least bit about MASN. I would rather MASN keep their DC-Baltimore stuff up there in VA and MD. They are just using this to gain a deeper foothold into this market before NC gain start their own baseball franchise. They are only using ECU as an excuse to gain sympathy in this market.

  • smitty Jun 9, 2008

    AT&T will be selling TV service in the area hopefully soon, should give TWC a run for their money.

  • IceCreamMan Jun 9, 2008

    Switched to DISH Network last year - best decision I ever made. MUCH better service, selection, and price. Ditch TWC if you can. You will not regret it.

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